MANILA, July 19 (Mabuhay) — A former National COVID-19 Task Force adviser said the number of local transmissions of the Delta variant in the country might be underreported due to limited genome sequencing.

“Dapat ang ginagawa ng Department of Health, it should go to those particular hotspots in Mindanao or Visayas. Let’s say the Visayas, you have Iloilo under an ECQ,” Dr. Tony Leachon said.

“And then those patients admitted that are positive, maggawa sila ng genomic surveillance para malaman nila whether they’re dealing with a Chinese-Wuhan strain or a Delta variant,” he added.

The Philippines reported 16 new Delta variant cases including 11 local cases. Out of the 11 local cases, two were detected in Metro Manila, six in region 10, two in Region 6, and one was tested in Metro Manila but had an address in Region 3.

“We’re seeing what happened in the past. We don’t know what’s going on right now and that’s why we have to be more proactive,” Dr. Guido David of the OCTA Research team said.

The government is discussing preparations to prevent the further spread of the more transmissible Delta variant. This includes stricter border controls and aggressive contact tracing.

The Philippine National Police also said it will conduct stricter monitoring at quarantine checkpoints. (MNS)

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